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Michelle

Rio Games "critically behind schedule" - IOC

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No renderings; no photos of the venues -- thus cities won't engage in the expensive oneupsmanship that has been going on for decades. Plain, grey boxes are fine!! ONLY AFTER the Games can new photo of what the stadia look like be revealed. This measure can cut down hundreds of millions of dollars!!

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I'm not sure yet what to make of John Coates' warnings. At first, when I read them I was panicky - and then again I thought, "Okay, it sounds as if there's very much work to do yet - but how often have we heard that before other major sports events (Athens 2004, South Africa 2010, Brazil 2014, even Sochi 2014 - regarding Fisht Olympic Stadium)?"

I think respectively hope that Brazil 2014 could be the blueprint for Rio's preparations for the Olympics: Despite severe problems in some cases, they are apparently now able to deliver all stadia in time for the World Cup (even if it's after the FIFA deadline). And I must say, judging by the pictures I saw of the still unfinished World Cup stadia over the past few months, I'm amazed how they sped up their works and were able to transform dishevelled construction sites into already quite neat stadia in such a short time. Even if Deodoro apparently needs a miracle now, I'm cautiously confident that with the help of the IOC and professionals who organised or built previous Games, they can pull off even that construction project - plus all the other tasks they have to fulfill until August 5, 2016.

Yes, staging the two biggest sports events in the world in such a short time would be a humongous task for any country, and it is even more so for a developing country like Brazil. The IOC took a huge risk in a awarding them the Games already for 2016 - and so it's only appropriate that they now do everything in their power to make their decision a successful one. But in the end, I'm quite sure that we'll comment on at least good (if not even great) and atmospheric Rio 2016 Games on September 18, 2016, the final day of the Paralympics. Maybe they'll have to resort to the charm of improvisation here and there, maybe they'll even have to change venue plans in some regards. Consider me naive, but I still think they can pull this off - and as it has been said often enough here already: They have no alternative at this late stage in time anyway.

And that said, I'm a bit surprised that the IOC or rather John Coates have put out such a severe warning at this late stage in time. I mean, couldn't they estimate already in 2012 or 2013 that Rio is severely behind schedule and draw their conclusions already back then? It seems a bit to me as if they were almost heading for disaster with full awareness.


And with "they", I mean the IOC as much as the local organisers themselves.

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IOC official Coates backtracks on Rio attack

SYDNEY: IOC vice-president John Coates on Thursday backtracked on his scathing criticism of Rio de Janeiro's Olympic preparations, insisting the city could deliver an "excellent" Games as he moved to defuse tensions.

"Following my statements about the upcoming Games in Rio, I want to underline that I still believe that the Rio Organising Committee and the people of Brazil can indeed deliver an excellent Games in 2016," he said in a statement.

His toned-down comments came two days after he criticised the preparations as "the worst that I've experienced" in 40 years of being involved with the Olympics, remarks that attracted worldwide attention and sparked a swift rebuttal from Rio.

Coates said since his initial criticism he had been in contact with IOC executive director Gilbert Felli, a senior troubleshooter sent to the host city last week to help tackle the construction delays and soaring costs that have caused concern.

"He has provided me with a positive update of progress and the support and positive response he is receiving from the organising committee. Time is of the essence but things are moving in the right direction," he said.

"Rio 2016 is addressing the specific concerns of the 17 international federations that were raised with the organisers at a meeting in Turkey in April regarding their venues and the progress overall."

He added that Rio mayor Eduardo Paes, the Brazilian government and the Local Organising Committee all had the IOC's full support in the race to host a successful first Olympics in South America.

"As I said, there is no plan B. We have to make this happen by working together over the next two years," said Coates.

The Australian, who has made six visits to Rio as a member of the IOC Coordination Commission overseeing the Games, on Tuesday painted a dire picture of the progress being made, which he said was of "critical concern".

He told a forum in Sydney that the IOC had been forced to take "unprecedented" action, embedding experts in Rio's organising committee to ensure the sporting spectacle proceeds.

"The IOC has formed a special taskforce to try and speed up preparations but the situation is critical on the ground," he said, adding it was "the worst I have experienced".

His comments forced the Games organisers to issue a statement that they would deliver their "historic mission" with IOC support.

"We have a historic mission: to organise the first Olympic and Paralympic Games in Brazil and in South America. We are going to achieve this," the local organising committee said.

"In 2016, Rio will host excellent Games that will be delivered absolutely within the agreed timelines and budgets."

...

AFP

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/sport/olympics-ioc-official/1091558.html

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^^ Ha! As if anyone will believe this!

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I'm not defending anyone. If I recall Moscow's bid was the most expensive. I preferred Paris for the sustainability of their bid. I supported Salzburg and Munich. Yes I supported Tokyo but there is still substantial reuse in Tokyo's plans.

I am just saying that there are two sides to every coin and to this only one city has seriously pushed the envelope in their bid and that is Oslo.

Speaking privately to Rols I mentioned that I would love to see the German Olympic Committee challenge some of Bach's statements and present a Cologne-Dortmund-Dusseldorf clustered bid. Of course if that ever did come up people on here would be screaming about travel times, the 'Olympic atmosphere' and other nonsense.

I want 4 sports to be cut, I want all the useless 'universality' spots that generate thousands of additional athletes that have no business being in competition to be cut. I don't support the inclusion of golf. But I also see that the IOC is not to blame for the grandiose ambitions of developing countries.

You and FYI are the ones that claim the IOC will accept a paired down, more simplistic Games so that they can finally go to Africa. If that holds true for Africa it stands to reason that it would have held true for Brazil and South America. Brazil chose to go grandiose, big and ridiculous. I really don't think athletes or federations care if their venue cost 20 million or 200 million, they care that it is complete, meets international standards and provides the basis for good competition.

If memory serves, London's estimated cost at the bid phase was the highest.

Oslo's bid is not ground-breaking in that it really is an attempt to return to more manageable Games. It's not proposing a new model. It's a throwback (or is trying to be). Even so, the likes of Lillehammer could not host today because the IOC has increased the number of sports and athletes and become more demanding about venues, perks for the Olympic family, etc.

What is unique is Oslo making demands of the IOC. The only reason that they can do that is that they know they have all the leverage in this cycle. If the IOC had other glamour options, Oslo would be laughed off.

I agree sports should be cut. I also agree that the universality spots should be reduced. No argument there.

Multiple hubs can work as long as they are not too far apart, they are connected by some means of transit, they each have their own villages, and there is more than one sport in each hub. I can see that working.

The IOC has turned the Olympics into a beauty contest and a rotating display of nationalistic chest-thumping among hosts. They have fostered this approach because they believe it elevates their brand and brings in money. So far it has. Over-ambitious bidders are bewitched.

I agree that the venues simply need to work. They don't have to be big or new or designed by famous architects. I see no evidence the IOC agrees. I see much evidence to the contrary.

I believe the IOC wants to go to Africa badly, but FYI and I are not exactly on the same page. I think the IOC probably foolishly thought that they wouldn't have to reduce their standards much in order for Africa to host. I think they have gotten into the habit of thinking that the Games will probably be fine no matter what and it's just a matter of location. I think Rio is a very important wake up call in this regard. Rio's problems will induce the IOC to take a very close look at an African bid. If the IOC thinks the African bid is technically competent, I believe the African bid will win -- even if it is the weakest candidate. Rio's problems mean the likes of Durban will need to demonstrate a higher standard of competency. That's going to be tough if they've never hosted an international multi-sport event.

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I believe they can deliver an excellent games. Why can't they?

They can. The question is will they? Apparently at least 1 person in the IOC isn't so sure. Hard to take back what you're already said and issue a retraction. We've heard these claims before, and it's still 2+ years out til the Olympics. Plenty of time to right the ship, but not exactly a vote of confidence to make a declaration like this.

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^^ Ha! As if anyone will believe this!

I believe they can deliver an excellent games. Why can't they?

Sorry, I posted that at work in a rush.

I think it's pretty obvious this more diplomatic language is an attempt at damage-control and trying to keep things in-house. An attempt to cool the temperature. Even if he does believe Rio can deliver an excellent Games, his true feelings about where Rio is right now were made clear in his first speech. That cat's out of the bag, and there's no putting it back in there, depite today's "clarification".

Edited by Rob.
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Brazil denies all knowledge of hosting Olympic Games in 2016

IOC Vice-President John Coates has told delegates at an Olympic Forum in Sydney that officials in the 2016 host city Rio de Janeiro have claimed to know nothing about the games being held there in a little over 2 year’s time.

‘Our IOC delegation to Rio couldn’t believe the lack of progress,’ said Coates, ‘practically nothing has been done, and when we spoke to the head of the Brazilian Games Organising Committee he told me he ‘didn’t know anything about any Olympics’ and asked if we were sure we had got the right city. When I pressed him further he said ‘no, you mean the World Cup, yes come and see our stadiums’ but when I said it was the Olympic Games stadiums we had come to see he pretended he couldn’t speak English and just shrugged his shoulders and said ‘no speaka da eenglish, you like girls? I get you girls no problem’.’

The Olympic Committee is now sounding out London about possibly hosting the Olympics for a second time after the success of 2012 although the initial talks aren’t going too well, conceded Coates. ‘I asked Boris Johnson about it and all he would say was; ‘what? Olympics? when did that happen? Do you like girls? I can get you girls’.’

Newsbiscuit

I'm dying of laughter!

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Brazil denies all knowledge of hosting Olympic Games in 2016

IOC Vice-President John Coates has told delegates at an Olympic Forum in Sydney that officials in the 2016 host city Rio de Janeiro have claimed to know nothing about the games being held there in a little over 2 year’s time.

‘Our IOC delegation to Rio couldn’t believe the lack of progress,’ said Coates, ‘practically nothing has been done, and when we spoke to the head of the Brazilian Games Organising Committee he told me he ‘didn’t know anything about any Olympics’ and asked if we were sure we had got the right city. When I pressed him further he said ‘no, you mean the World Cup, yes come and see our stadiums’ but when I said it was the Olympic Games stadiums we had come to see he pretended he couldn’t speak English and just shrugged his shoulders and said ‘no speaka da eenglish, you like girls? I get you girls no problem’.’

The Olympic Committee is now sounding out London about possibly hosting the Olympics for a second time after the success of 2012 although the initial talks aren’t going too well, conceded Coates. ‘I asked Boris Johnson about it and all he would say was; ‘what? Olympics? when did that happen? Do you like girls? I can get you girls’.’

Newsbiscuit

:D :D :P

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Oh my. Is this serious or a joke?

Tony, for the love of God: Please think first (and maybe look up that Newsbiscuit website first - in order to see what kind of website it is) and only then post here. Thank you!

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From O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper

What is happening with Rio 2016 works.

http://www.estadao.com.br/noticias/esportes,por-causa-de-atraso-em-obras-do-rio-coi-faz-intervencao-nos-jogos-de-2016,1151895,0.htm

Problems identified by IOC officials.

Deodoro Cluster
Tight schedule for completion of works. The schedule is being modified by the City of Rio de Janeiro.
Eight sports will be played at the site and bid for the works was released in April 2014.

Olympic Park
Workers' strike ended. (the report was made during the strike - I changed this)
Velodrome and Handball Arena suffered delays due to bureaucracy and bidding. Other works are on schedule, says the City of Rio de Janeiro .

Golf Course
Works are running on time.

João Havelange Olympic Stadium
Rehabilitation works of the stadium roof with are behind schedule in 5 months.
Capacity expansion will commence in the first half of 2015.

Guanabara Bay
The works of sewage treatment plants are delayed. The city of Rio de Janeiro promised 80 % decontamination bay.
IOC officials and sailors are concerned about the lack of action to increase the speed of construction.
The first sailing event will be held in August 2014.

Rowing Stadium
Is ready. Located next to the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, who suffers with a new case of water pollution.

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After meetings of IOC in Brazil and in Rio, this is the new situation.

http://oglobo.globo.com/esportes/apos-criticas-vice-presidente-do-comite-olimpico-diz-que-esta-animado-confiante-para-rio-2016-12354514

After affirming that the preparations for the 2016 Games are the worst ever seen, the vice president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Australian John Coates, issued a statement in which blots out their statements. Now, Coates says he is "excited and confident that Rio will host great games that will be delivered within the agreed timelines and budgets." The statement of the vice president of the IOC, taken last Tuesday, during the Olympic Forum in Sydney, Australia, has caused unease among the organizers of the games in Rio and Switzerland.
According to Coates, Gilbert Felli, director general of the Olympic Games, reported details on the construction progress. "He (Felli) passed me a positive update on the progress (of work) and positive responses by the Organizing Committee. Time is essential, and things are moving in the right direction" says the text.

And these are slides presented in January 2014 by Rio 2016 Committee to IOC about works in Rio.

deodoro_zps33427af5.jpg

barra_zps821b72a7.jpg

(the only difference about the slides and real world is that the works in Deodoro will start with 3 months of delay in respect to the slides).


As you can see, the works in Deodoro requires really short time of works. As I pointed before, part of Deodoro is ready for the Olympic Games.
What worries me. The BMX Park and the Whitewater Stadium.

Rio, definitevelly, have delays and lots of things to speed up, but as said by IOC and Rio 2016 committee, it's time to work and not for random statements. Amen.


__________

I strongly recommend this blog about Rio 2016, made by Michel Castellar, a journalist who is more inside than nobody about Rio 2016 preparations.
It's in Portuguese but it's gold stuff, I guarantee.

http://blogs.lancenet.com.br/rio2016/

(Google Translator is doing nice with Portuguese translations to English now-a-days)

On his last day in Rio since she arrived on April 24, Felli met the morning with Rio mayor Eduardo Paes, at City Hall. On the agenda of negotiations, problems in the Olympic Park, as the supply of electricity to the complex, something that has long trailed and has now been resolved.

Afternoon Felli went to Guanabara Palace, seat of the state government, where he met with Bigfoot. At this meeting, the main topic was the cleaning of Guanabara Bay and also left the meeting satisfied, because the agreements which closed on the issue.

The return to Rio Felli is scheduled for the World Cup, where Brazil will be closely watched by the IOC. On occasion, the president of the international organization Thomas Bach will come to the state capital, as a guest of FIFA, but will also be the work of the 2016 Games.

That's deep information you guys won't find in big conglomarate superficial coverage...


PS: Bigfoot is the nickname of the Governor of Rio de Janeiro state, Luiz Pezão. LOL (Google Translator doing ****)

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Thanks a lot, Danny, for those very helpful insights!

So you see, guys: The schedule is very tight and they have to get their act together, but still, this sounds significantly different from the "disaster in the making" John Coates was talking about in his initial statement. I would say that they this is comparable to Athens' delays regarding OAKA and especially regarding the Olympic Stadium, only with the difference that this time, more venues are affected than back then in Athens. But that doesn't mean that they'll perform worse than Athens in terms of venue construction - they only have a bit more going on at the same time than Athens, but I'm confident that with professional help, they'll manage that.

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Since I didn't say anything yet about the question whether Rio's current troubles could affect the 2024 vote or any other future Olympic host city election: Wait and see. The 2024 vote takes place in 2017, one year after Rio's Games. And by that time, all the trouble of Spring 2014 could be fairly much forgotten and the IOC could possibly look back on amazing Rio Games.

And did the IOC draw its conclusions from Athens' trouble to get their venues ready in time? No, it didn't. It still gave Olympic Games to "risky" host countries afterwards, namely to Russia and Brazil. And I'm certain that they would do it again (at least after a while) even if Rio turned out a messy host with only semi-finished venues (which I don't think they will be!).

Yes, the IOC chose the "safety option" Tokyo for 2020 last year, and it will certainly choose the "safety option" Oslo for 2022. If Rio turned out a mess, they would maybe choose another safety option at least for 2024. But for 2028 at the latest, I think they could go full steam ahead for bids of the likes of Durban or Istanbul.

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Thanks a lot, Danny, for those very helpful insights!

So you see, guys: The schedule is very tight and they have to get their act together, but still, this sounds significantly different from the "disaster in the making" John Coates was talking about in his initial statement. I would say that they this is comparable to Athens' delays regarding OAKA and especially regarding the Olympic Stadium, only with the difference that this time, more venues are affected than back then in Athens. But that doesn't mean that they'll perform worse than Athens in terms of venue construction - they only have a bit more going on at the same time than Athens, but I'm confident that with professional help, they'll manage that.

Actually, I see some real trouble on the way, to be honest.

Take a note, these are real troubles and real challenges for Rio:

Depollution of Guanabara Bay

I think it'll get "reasonable" clean by putting thousands of boats to collect trash in the semi-polluted water of the entrance of the bay, still, no legacy here. For sure the bay will be much better in two year than now, but it will take decades to get it clean as desired.

Canoe Kayak-Slalom venue

It's not an easy venue to build anywhere in the world. It will be the same in Rio, the schedule is scaring me as hell!

Subway Line 4 linking Copacabana and Barra Cluster

The works are on the schedule and at full steam, but the schedule IS TIGHT AS HELL! I'm really worried about this, because there is no Plan B for this transportation link.

No tender yet for the BRT link between Line 4 last station in Barra and Terminal Alvorada (where other lines of BRTs departs to Olympic Park).

João Havelange Stadium seat expansion

Roof is not a problem, really.

Take note: the expansion work will be finished weeks before the games.

Rio de Janeiro International Airport

Despite the great news about Changi Airports Inc. (they operate Singapore Airport, the best in the planet) got the operation of Rio Int'l Airport, I'm scared about the fact it'll take more 8 months to them to start their works.

Rio Airport is big enough for the Olympic and have enough runways. The problem is the terminal looks obsolete and in some places, abandoned. They need to start the real hard refurbshment NOW.

Bad atmosphere

With all the mess about the World Cup, Rio 2016 Committee and IOC will have an odissey to get Brazilians along with the Olympic Games. The mood couldn't be worse for a World Cup right now in Brazil due a bad media over the event, inside and outside the country.

If IOC and its personnel starts with bad statements against Rio, they will light a powder keg. Olympics is more sensitive to riots than World Cup, since they get big attention in every single country of the world. IOC MUST DO PRESSURE OVER RIO COMMITTE, not against Brazilians or the nation of Brazil... Otherwise the atmosphere at the games will be similar to a mourning mass or may cause rioting.

Politics

This year we will have elections in Brazil for State governors and President.

I believe main candidates for Presidency will be commited to the games. But there are candidates to State of Rio that are simply against the games or at least, the way the games had been planed. To detour everything now would cause a mess on the already messy prepartions... Pray for Rio.

Edited by DannyelBrazil
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Some remarks and things I don't understand, Danny:

  • Why has Guanabara Bay necessarily have to be depolluted thoroughly as long as the Olympic competitions are not harmed by the pollution? (Yes, a polluted bay doesn't create nice images during Olympic Games, but do any Olympic events take place in the bay?)
  • London's whitewater venue broke ground in July 2009 and was opened in December 2010, not even one and a half years later: http://www.hyderconsulting.com/en/services/waterservices/Pages/displayarticle.aspx?pageid=349 That's exactly the timespan scheduled in your picture above, by the way, for Rio's whitewater venue. So I think your worries are fairly unfounded, even if the schedule is three months behind now.
  • Regarding Havelange Stadium: I think it's not at all an Olympic first that temporary expansion works are finished only weeks before the Games. Just think of London's temporary beach volleyball arena being constructed only weeks before the Games.
  • A rather hostile environment for the Games (in the shape of protests) could be a problem, yes. But how can the Rio organisers change anything about that when being pressured by the IOC? As far as I've understood it from media reports here in Germany, the protests are rather a social and political problem than a problem caused by the organisers of the World Cup and Olympic/Paralympic Games. What can ROCOG do about it?
  • If election campaigns in Brazil are anything similar to election campaigns in Germany or many other parts of the world, I think they are dominated by a lot of populism which later turns out completely or fairly different as soon as real governing starts. Even if those "Olympic opponents" among the candidates should win, I doubt that they can dare or even achieve to be a serious obstacle for the Games' preparations. I think the preparations are already too far underway (even despite the delays).

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Danny, you can't always blame the Media (Inside and Outside of Brazil) for the bad Atmosphere. You have to understand, the Media will do anything for a Story, to make Money. Most Media Articles are about something negative.

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Danny, you can't always blame the Media (Inside and Outside of Brazil) for the bad Atmosphere. You have to understand, the Media will do anything for a Story, to make Money. Most Media Articles are about something negative.

No, Tony, I'm just naive. Despite the fact I live in Brazil, have contact with dozens of people every day, have a Facebook account with dozens of links for news sites with bad media about the World Cup not to mention posts like "**** off the World Cup" or "Now we have first class stadiums, we only need the country around them to be first class too".

I invented all of this from my mind.

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No, Tony, I'm just naive. Despite the fact I live in Brazil, have contact with dozens of people every day, have a Facebook account with dozens of links for news sites with bad media about the World Cup not to mention posts like "**** off the World Cup" or "Now we have first class stadiums, we only need the country around them to be first class too".

I invented all of this from my mind.

I did admit in the past, I was wrong. Your not naive. I'm just saying, the Media can't always be blamed.

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